I read a blog the other day where the person said she makes her two older (they are probably around 10-12 yr old range) kids do ALL their own laundry, along with quite a few other chores. Basically these kids are doing the bulk of the household cleaning because this lady (a SAHM) has such a busy day of getting kids off to school, running 'errands', picking said kids up from their extra curricular activities, going to exercise class, doing her, her husband, and younger two children's laundry, etc. As I was reading this, all I kept thinking was WOW, I'd really dislike being her child!
I get that you want to teach your kids responsibility and hold them accountable for themselves, but at what age is it too young?
Sure my kids help out around the house....my 8 years olds like to put the detergent in the washing machine and 'push the buttons' when I am starting a load of laundry. They will actually go in the laundry room after a load has stopped and pre-load the soap and/our softener for the next load. I'm not quite sure why, but they think this is fun.
They also have to carry their folded laundry upstairs, and put it away. My five year old isn't so good about this, so I separate her laundry into groups of what goes in what place and then she carries each little pile up and puts it in the appropriate place.
They also have to help with kitchen clean-up....as in carry their plates to the sink when they are done eating and throw their trash away. If I'm doing dishes before they are done eating, then they also have to rinse their plates and stick it in the dishwasher.
Their biggest responsibility is to keep their rooms clean. Which normally they don't keep them that clean, and that's fine by me. The only thing upstairs is their bedrooms and bathroom, so company never goes up there, and once a week, we have a big cleaning day, and they have to pick their rooms up completely. I clean their bathroom while they clean their rooms. For my two older ones, I make the a check-list....and for some reason, they actually get their rooms cleaned when they go down the list and do everything in order. For Ava, I give her a specific task and when she completes it, she comes back and I give her another one. She's still not great about getting it clean - clean, so I often help her finish up after I pick up Breanna's room. Then I vacuum all their rooms.
They do also have assigned days to help with the dog's food/water, and potty breaks. They begged to get a dog, so they have to help with her.
The other things they (sometimes) do....but are NOT part of their chores are... mop .... all three big ones will fight over the Swiffer. Something about pushing that button and squirting cleaning solutions entertains them. lol And dusting. Again, they get to 'spray' cleaner. I often have to tell them they can't do these things because as soon as one of them starts doing it, the other two will start in.... 'But she/he did it LAST time.' 'It's not fair that he/she ALWAYS gets to do it.' 'Stop! I was doing it first.'
Maybe I'm too easy on my kids, maybe I'm too strict. I just know that as they get older more things will be implemented into their responsibilities, but it will really depend on how they are doing academically, and what their extra curricular activities consist of....because those things will take precedence over everything else.
So, all you parents of older children, what does your child (ren)'s chore list consist of?